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Donny Hankinson Interview
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1.   How long have you been playing softball in the NKY/Cinci area?





Don Hankinson: 21years









2.  Who are some of the other teams you have played for or been involved

with throughout your career?



DH: Hugh's Oyster House, Terry's

Bunch,Kwik Mart, Western Hills Window,Trimex Trucking, F & C Athletics,

Smith Muffler,Rick's A.C., and BaseBandits







3. Okay Don, I have been waiting to ask this question. Being that you

are my first Base Bandit, you get the pleasure of answering the million

dollar question.

    What is the true story behing the Benny Fields fiasco?  I have heard

10 different stories,  but now that I am actually interviewing a Base

Bandit maybe we can get to the bottom of what happened in Indy and go

on.



DH:   To my knowledge of what I know Benny had not qualified at the

time of the Indy tournament,know one really knew about them qualifying

at Pasttime early in the year including Benny and his manager Joe

Barnes.There was not even a record of it yet at USSSA because someone

from Indy called to see if he had qualified,and there was no evidence of

him being on a frozen roster yet,so they had to let him play in the

tournament. Benny is a very good player but it was a team effort to win

the N.I.T. in Indy, everyone contributed.









4.   Don, when it comes to "C" ball, there is no team finer or better

than the Base Bandits in Nky. The only other team that I would say

compares to you guys are J-Law Contracting.  But for some reason they

cant beat you guys.  What is it in your opinion that you have over these

guys?



DH:   To me both teams are talented but I guess I would have to

say we might have 2 things over them at this time right now.



1. We never give up know matter what the score is if we are up big or

down big, we keep coming after you until the last out.This does not mean

J-Law relaxes when they are up or down but some teams tend to go into a

cruising mode sometimes and in the game of softball these days with the

bats and balls no lead is to big to overcome.



2.We probably right now have the best pitcher in NKY in Andy Isles he

keeps teams off balance with his pitching and his antics on the mound,

he has great movement on his ball and pitches behind his back and

between his legs very good. But believe me J-Law is talented and the tide can turn quickly on us and they could have our number just as easy.









5.  Don, you spent many of remarkable years with Ricks AC.  Last year

they stumbled majorly. What in your opinion was the problem that made a

once elite team fold after all these years?



DH:   It's hard to say but I think chemistry and injuries were a big factor on last years team. I will say this about the Rick's A.C. teams of the past they were like

being in a big family, Rick and Ann Gunkel were the best sponsors and

friends anyone on the team could have and maybe someday I can play for

them again.











6.  Don, I have watched you play more times than I can count. And let me

say this.  You play harder than anyone, and I mean anyone that I have

ever seen play.  110% at all times.  Now softball has to run deep in the

Hankinson family.  I see your grandpa, I believe Marshall, almost on a

consistent basis at the tournaments and league nites and your Dad

absolutely doesnt miss a Base Bandit game.  You my friend play the game

of softball with the same dedication. Is it safe to say that those two

played a prominent role in the way you play the game?



DH: My dad played a major role in my career when I was a kid I was always at the ball field fielding ground balls and catching high flies from members of

the great teams my dad played for and coached for. Believe me when I say

this these guys were some of the best players to ever play the game of

softball. My grandpa has always been a fan of the game only but if he

could of he probably would of loved to  play the game. ( probably the

best fan ever to watch softball in NKY)





7.   Would it be safe to say with the talent that you have on the Base

Bandits that the expectations this year would be a top 5 if not a

Championship in the Worlds tournament this year at Sterling Heights,

Michigan? Would anything less be unacceptable?



DH:   Everybody wants to be a World Champion but only 1 team can ,I hope it is us but if not someone from around the NKY area. I know if we don't win it it won't be

hard to handle because I will know we tried our best and gave a 110 %

like everyone on this team does all the time.







8.  Now Don, on the not so positive side of these questions. I have

heard people around the league over the years accuse you of dirty play.

What would be your response to someone calling you a dirty

ballplayer?



DH:   If being dirty means you give 110% and want to win

every game I guess I am a dirty player but only in the descriptions

above.







9.  This is a fill in the blank question.

     The biggest misconception about Don Hankinson is________? 



DH: That I am a dirty player, most of this is based on my hard-nosed playing antics on the field.









10.   Below are a list of positions. Without using any Base Bandits,

list by each position the player that best fits in your opinion as the

best player at that position. This will be Don Hankinsons 2003 all star

team.



1B Kevin Greene

2B  John Slover

SS Jason Brown

3B Steve Klute

P Andy Isles ( sorry I know he is a Bandit but best around this

area right now)

C  Biscuit

2 Outfielders  Mike Cook, Brian Sandlin

AH  Kevin Hall

Coach  Kenny Hansel







11.  Who in your opinion is the most under rated player in the game of

softball?



DH: Jeff Bowman from J-Law I know he manages J-Law but he

should play more than he does he can hit for average or power and can

field the ball would love to have him on my team.







12.   If there was one thing that you could change about the game of

softball, what would it be?



DH:   Leagues, because they should mean more

to players. Some nights you might see the same player playing 3 or more

games in the same league with different teams. It should be the way it

was back when softball was softball,if  you didn't have enough to play

on a league night it was a forfeit and you went home with a win or loss.

The parks should handle this better with rosters and policing games

closer.







13. Below are a list of Parks.   Bt using the 1-10 scale with 1 being a

dump and 10 being a field of dreams, give each park a rating and a

reason describing the reason you rated them as such.





Huddy Park  7 ( great location)







Riverstar 2 ( hate it fields are bad and lines are always to big

at concession stand)







Rivershore  7 ( nice setting for softball)







Expressway  9 ( nice clean place to play softball)







Rumpke  4 ( usually only play in 1 tournament a year there Metro,

can't stand the wood fences)







Pastime Park  2 ( smells and looks bad when first built I was there

the premier park around but neglect has made it horrible)









Eggelston  7 ( good family atmosphere for softball lots of shade to

enjoy on hot days)









14.   Below are a list of names and things relative to yourself and the

game of softball. By each one, give one word that best describes them in

your opinion.







Donnie Hankinson ( hard-nosed player)

Ricks AC   ( family)

Timmy Barker  ( great competitor)

Huddy Park  ( homeruns)

Easton Synergy ( awesome)

Bill Chard  ( organizer)

Base Bandits  (team)

J-Law Contracting (raw-talent)

Mike Hartfiel   (quiet)

Kenny Clark (leader)

Benny Fields  (power)







15. Here is a scenario for ya.  If  the Base Bandits were in the bottom

of the 7th inning,  trailing my 1 run,  with 2 outs and runners on 2nd

and 3rd and NO home runs left,  in the 2003 championship of the Worlds

tournament, who besides yourself would you like to see at the plate on

the Base Bandit squad?



DH: Chris Garnett a veteran of the game can hit

both sides of field and usually comes through when you need a big hit.









16.  Go ahead and give me your top 5 in NKY softball.



1. Angilos



2.  BaseBandits and Red's Boy's

3.J-Law

4. Nasty Boys

5.  Hamilton's





17.  Donnie if you retired tomorrow, how would you want people to

remember Don Hankinson as a softball player?



DH: A person who loved the game and played each game like it was his last one.









18.  This is a relatively new question.  But please be honest for it

could be fun.  What is your most embarrasing moment that you have in

your career of playing softball?



DH:   About 10 years ago Rick's A.C.was playing in a tournament at Softball City and had a 8:00 a.m. game and I over slept and Kenny Clark called me up and woke me up and said are you playing today.I jumped up and got dressed got there in about the 3rd inning only game til this day I have been late for always there

half-hour before each game now.







19. On the flipside of the last question, what is your most rewarding

moment. Don Hankinsons shining moment so far in his career?



DH:   Being named NKY player of the year in 2000.









20.   What is your opinion of the "superbats". Do you think they hurt

the integrity of the game?



DH:   Yes they do because it makes a person

like my-self hit homeruns sometimes. The guys who are suppose to hit

homeruns will hit them with any bat they don't need help







21.  Speaking of bats, what bat do you currently swing?

DH:   D-Marini Classic